HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 07:  PJ Tucker #4 of the Houston Rockets defends Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half at Toyota Center on April 7, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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It is reportedly a matter of when, not if, Carmelo Anthony will join the Houston Rockets

According to Turner Sports’ David Aldridge, Anthony “has been telling people for more than a week that he’ll ultimately wind up with the Rockets.”

On Thursday, the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to trade Anthony and a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a three-team deal that netted them point guard Dennis Schroder, per ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski

Additionally, the Thunder acquired former Hawks big man Mike Muscala, who was re-routed to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for French swingman Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. Philadelphia also shipped Justin Anderson to Atlanta. 

Anthony, meanwhile, will be free to sign with the team of his choice once he completes a buyout with the Hawks and clears waivers. According to Wojnarowski, the Hawks intend to pay Anthony his entire $27.9 million salary for next season as part of the buyout. 

Once Anthony signs with the Rockets, who have long been viewed as the front-runners for his services, he will join a team that’s been looking to fill a hole at small forward following the offseason departures of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. 

Anthony won’t be able to replace their versatile and rugged defensive stylings, but he will provide additional perimeter pop as a catch-and-shoot and spot-up weapon alongside James Harden and Chris Paul. 

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